By Trena Packer Street
There was a distinct feeling of cooperation and teamwork during the joint meeting of Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Collierville School Board and the administration staff of newly established Collierville Schools.
The special meeting was called to review the 2014-15 General Fund Budget for Collierville Schools.
Superintendent John Aitken and Chief Financial Officer Anita Hays presented the 53-page document that is the result of countless hours to revise, review, rework numbers and fine-tune programs.
The result was a balanced budget of $60.7 million for the planned opening of Collierville Schools for Aug. 4.
While budget planning has been ongoing for several weeks, the preliminary document was completed just prior to the start of the meeting, as revisions had to be made on planned expenses to be shared by each of the municipal school districts.
“It’s been a pressure packed, busy day,” Superintendent Aitken said. “We got it done, thanks to great help of the Town Finance Department and our staff.”
In keeping with requests from both the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and Collierville School Board, the schools will have a dedicated nurse and medical records clerk in each of the eight schools, a plant operations manager per school and presented a balanced budget.
The preliminary budget also reflects emphasis on the support of special education.
Original discussions between the six suburban municipalities — Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland and Millington — were to share 21 shared positions for business payroll/IT support; employee benefits and IT network connectivity, student management system, nutrition, purchasing and transportation.
Recent changes reflect the cost of three to six positions likely to be shared among five municipal districts instead of six.
The projected budget is based on 7,600 students with an anticipated start-up enrollment of 7,900 in eight Collierville schools. It includes 711 employees, with administrative staff, teachers, health services, instructional television, technical education, alternative education, student services, human resources, plant operation/maintenance, transportation, school safety, technology and capital outlay.
The meeting included many details of each budget summary. Some questions asked for clarification and a brief discussion covered transition of inventory at end of school.
“Not only have we held meetings about this, we also have a physical inventory of all equipment, furniture and supplies that will be owned by Collierville Schools,” Aitken said.
He also reported that letters for resident and non-resident transfers had been mailed and at this time all transfer requests “have been accommodated.”
The Collierville Schools Draft Budget for 2014-15, as mandated by the Collierville Charter and the State of Tennessee, must be submitted a minimum of 45 days before the end of the Town fiscal year.
Mayor Stan Joyner, Vice Mayor Maureen Fraser and Collierville Aldermen Tom Allen, Billy Patton, Jimmy Lott and John Worley and Town Administrator James Lewellen will be provided with the information on or before May 15.
The Collierville School Board must approve the final budget and present it to the Board of Mayor and Alderman for approval of funding by June 30.
For more information go to colliervilleschools.org.